Autumn is the best time of year for motorcycle riding in North Carolina. In addition to the pageantry of fall colors in North Carolina’s mountains, the weather is cooler and the air is crisp and refreshing.
At the Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, we love to ride motorcycles, especially at this time of the year. A big part of our law practice is advocating for motorcycle safety and representing motorcycle riders who have been injured by careless motorists.
Fall Rides in North Carolina
Here are our three favorite fall motorcycle rides in Western North Carolina, which don’t take all day to get to from the Hickory and Charlotte areas of North Carolina, or even from as far away as the Columbia, S.C., area.:
- Shiner’s Run: This is about a 40-mile run west of Asheville on N.C. 209 (I-40 Exit 24; Lake Junaluska / Hot Springs) north into the Pisgah National Forest. In addition to multiple points where you can look out over valleys and mountains as far as the eye can see, the landscape is dotted with scenic farms, rocky rivers and old churches. The ride itself features twisties, high-speed sweepers, and long straightaways across valley floors. At about the half-way point, Trust General Store and Cafe is a biker-friendly stop, and Hot Springs at ride’s end is a small resort town that welcomes visitors of all kinds.
- Cullasaja River Gorge / Cashiers to Highland: It’s hard to beat the 61-mile stretch of U.S. 64 between Franklin and Highlands, N.C., for scenic beauty. But if you haven’t had enough, add another 16 miles between the resort towns of Highlands and Cashiers. In addition to the mountains that the road rounds or was carved through in the Nantahala National Forest, the route passes three major waterfalls on the Cullasaja, and up to 10 altogether. There are pull off areas where you can stop safety and check out several of the water falls. The one downside of the Cullasaja River Gorge run, and U.S 64 between Cashiers and Highlands is that both are extremely popular with tourists, in part because of the waterfalls and other area attractions. Don’t expect to have the highway or the scenery to yourself!
- Diamond Back Loop: This is a 16½-mile loop that takes you up to Little Switzerland and the Blue Ridge Parkway via N.C. 226 and 226A. Get there from the Parkway or from I-40 and U.S. 221 (I-40 Exit 85; Marion / Rutherford); N.C. 226 is 9 miles north of Marion. Mostly it is a twisting mountain ride that doesn’t end until you want it to end. Plus, you can ride on the Parkway to stretch out the ride, or head into Little Switzerland for a break. We recommend stopping by Switzerland Café & General Store for a quick bite because “the trout is local and fresh, and the smoked trout is almost as good as mine,” says Jason Taylor.
Staying Safe and Free of Accidents on Fall Motorcycle Tours
We suggest early morning rides to have the best chance of beating the crowds of tourists visiting the North Carolina mountains during the fall. Regardless of the time of day you are riding, you know that it is imperative to play it safe.
Here are the three important safety tips for motorcycle riders:
- Keep a safe distance: Tourists in cars are looking at the scenery and are not being very diligent about looking out for you. Don’t make matters worse by riding alongside cars and trucks in their blind spots or following too close. Sight seeing tourists are prone to sudden stops. Make sure to keep a safe distance from other vehicles, even it involves slowing down and dropping back.
- Stand out: Burn your headlight night and day, and put reflectors on your motorcycle. Wear at least one item that is brightly colored (orange, red, yellow), whether it is your helmet, jacket, pants or a riding vest.
- Signal motorists: Use hand signals along with your motorcycle’s electronic signals for turning, slowing and stopping. Signal well ahead of where you plan to turn or stop. Even if motorists don’t know hand signals, the movement is more likely to catch their eyes.
Get Legal Help After a Motorcycle Accident
Unfortunately, you can do everything right as a rider and still find yourself injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another motorist who was careless or distracted. You can get help from a Western North Carolina personal injury lawyer who is an experienced and avid motorcycle rider.
The chances are good that attorney Jason Taylor has ridden the route where the crash occurred that caused your injury. He is dedicated to helping fellow riders who have been injured. Jason Taylor knows motorcycle accident law and how to present a compelling case for you to get the compensation you deserve for medical bills, bike repairs and more.
Stay safe on the roads this fall. And if someone else’s negligence has caused you harm, get experienced legal help right away. Call for a free review of your accident.